US election daily dig: Starbucks to the rescue?

Starbucks cup

The candidates step up the personal attacks with less than a week to go to polling day, as commentators – and coffee chain owners – fret about the divisions their battle will leave behind.

The latest

In times of crisis, a fractious and divided nation looks to its coffee vendors.

At least that’s what Starbucks is hoping as it unveils its latest cup design.

“During a divisive time in our county, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO.

This call for peace and harmony set off an angry backlash on Twitter, with some Republicans accusing the coffee giant of political brainwashing. The new cup is green but, with holiday season approaching, it should be red, seemed to be the gist of it. It’s PC gone mad.

Image copyright Twitter

But at least one of the widely quoted angry tweets turned out to be a spoof and news that Starbucks’ actual Christmas holiday cup design, to be unveiled later this month, will be red seemed to ease the gathering social media storm.

That does not mean there is not a lot of anguish out there about what sort of mess this election is going to leave behind.

“This is an election that won’t heal the differences cleaving at American society; this is an election that has widened them,” the BBC’s Jon Sopel writes.

Out on the campaign trail, any hopes that Clinton or Trump might have entertained about raising the tone of the debate in the final week have evaporated in a welter of personal attacks.

Trump claims Clinton is a criminal and a liar who would start World War III. Clinton goes on the attack over his attitude to women and claims he would also start a war.

Trump did manage to break away briefly in Wisconsin to meet a supporter in a grocery store, who gave the candidate a chance to do his “man of the people” routine and claim, incorrectly, that one of America’s biggest trade unions was backing his campaign.

Trump hailed the “big man” and asked if he was a Teamster.

When the man replied that he was, Trump told him: “The Teamsters are all with me. You know that. Teamsters are always good.”

In fact, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million American workers, endorsed Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton for the presidency back in August.

There is a Teamsters for Trump Facebook page though.

Media captionUS Election 2016: Presiding over a divided flock

Random stat

5 or 6

The level of panic Democrats should be at, according to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog, with 1 being “concern” and 10 being “freakout”.

Picture of the day

Image copyright Getty Images

Quote of the day

Wednesday’s diary

It’s all about the swing states for both candidates. Hillary Clinton is in Nevada and Arizona. President Obama will be campaigning for her in Ohio and Bill Clinton hits Iowa.

Donald Trump is in Florida, the state seen as the key to the White House.

Predict the president

Who will win? Play our game to make your call

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